Quakes join DP ranks with Geovanni signing

[MLS] Two years to the day after he scored the first Premier League goal ever netted by Hull City, Brazilian attacker Geovanni joined San Jose as its first Designated Player.

Geovanni, 30, flew to San Jose Sunday to meet with team officials, following statements from general manager John Doyle during the week that a DP signing was not only probable, but perhaps imminent. On Monday, Geovanni took a physical and concluded negotiations.

Terms of his deal were not disclosed. As a Designated Player, his contract and related acquisition costs – signing bonuses, etc. – are worth at least $500,000 per season.

This season he will cost the Quakes only $167,500 against the $2.55 million per-team salary cap. As a midseason signing, he counts one-half of the $335,000 salary-budget charge imposed for Designated Players. Under league rules, the team pays salary costs above what his contract counts against the cap. He is the 14th player currently under contract to an MLS team as a Designated Player.

He had discussed a contract with AEK Athens in May without reaching an agreement. If MLS has locked up his rights for several seasons – he signed as a free agent, his contract with Hull having been terminated in June – this could be a game-changing move by a franchise that won just 15 games in its first two seasons but is on the playoff fringe in 2010.

However, if he has retained his player pass (international transfer certificate) and leaves at the end of the season, as did Francisco Lima after a stellar showing in the second half of the 2008 campaign, this might not be such a significant transaction.

Geovanni went to Manchester City in 2007 from Cruzeiro as a free agent, and scored three goals in 23 appearances (all competitions) before being jettisoned by manager Mark Hughes and moving to Hull, for which he scored 13 goals in 65 games but was unable to help it escape the drop in 2010.

He has also played for Barcelona (2001-03) and Benfica (2003-06).

Geovanni earned one cap for Brazil and played six times for the U-23 team, including at the 2000 Olympic Games. On Aug. 16, 2008, Geovanni scored in the 22nd minute of a 2-1 Hull City victory against Fulham, for which Clint Dempsey came on as a sub for the last nine minutes.

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